|Hey, babe, come here often?|
Going to the barber shop with Max—along with various local restaurants, the pediatrician's office and our neighborhood movie theater—always makes me realize how far he's come. He used to wail and generally melt down at these places, mostly due to sensory overload but also from fear of the unknown.
Getting a haircut was a particular form of torture, for him and for us. Dave had to sit in the chair and hold a wailing Max on his lap. Max tended to leave the salon with a post-modern look, as in, it was very ragged-y because he'd been twisting around the entire time and the hapless stylist couldn't get a straight line.
This time, Max made a beeline for his favorite seat (thankfully, it was unoccupied). He sat serenely as the stylist cut his hair, stopping her only to note that he had to have hair gel. He giggled when she buzz cut the back of his hair.
I felt so proud of this grown-up kid. And I wanted him to feel good about himself, too.
"Max, do you remember when you were little and you used to cry when you came here?" I asked.
"Fireman Max!" he answered, as he does when I forget to address him by his correct (though not yet legal) name.
"Fireman Max, do you remember that you used to cry when you came here?" I asked.
"Yeah!" he said, tearing his eyes away from his reflection to look at me.
The guy who owns the barbershop shot me a wry look, because he for sure remembered Max's haircut meltdowns.
"And now, you're grown up and you're doing a great job of getting a haircut!" I said.
"YEAH!" he said, grinning.
"YEAH!" said the stylist.
Max looked very grown up after the cut, and it made me kind of wistful. My baby. But oh, so handsome.